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Mr. Denham: Good progress is being made. Agreements have been reached with the General Whitley Council and the British Medical Association, to cover all National Health Service staff on nationally negotiated terms and conditions, other than junior doctors who are currently exempt from the working time regulations. The aim of these agreements is to make maximum use of the available flexibilities to allow local arrangements to be established so that the Directive can be implemented smoothly without adversely affecting service provision.
In addition, the NHS Executive issued supporting guidance in November 1998 (Health Service Circular 1998/204). Further advice was issued on 20 December 1999, to clarify certain legal aspects, and continued support and advice is available to help local managers resolve practical issues that arise.
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Mr. Hutton: We launched the consultation paper "Protecting Children, Supporting Parents: A Consultation Paper on the Physical Punishment of children" at a press conference on 18 January. It received extensive media coverage that day, and was widely reported in the media subsequently. The document was also made available on the DH website.
In addition, a number of children's organisations have run campaigns associated with the consultation throughout the consultation period and a number of publications with specialist and family interests have featured articles about the issues involved.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the Government will allow a longer time for public response to their consultation on the document, entitled "The Physical Punishment of Children". 
Mr. Hutton: The consultation paper "Protecting Children, Supporting Parents: A Consultation Paper on the Physical Punishment of Children" was issued on 18 January and responses were asked for by 21 April.
Mr. Curry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what financial provision is made to local authorities in respect of residents who have placed themselves in residential or nursing homes and whose capital has declined to £16,000. 
Mr. Hutton: Residential and nursing home care services are funded through the Revenue Support Grant. We do not make any specific financial provision in respect of residents who have placed themselves in residential or nursing homes and whose capital has declined to £16,000. At this point the local authority can undertake an assessment and, if necessary, step in to take over arrangements to ensure that the resident is not forced to use up capital below £16,000 beyond his assessed level.
Mr. Curry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many residents in residential or nursing homes in each shire county in England, who placed themselves in such homes, are now funded by the local authority; and if he will estimate the cost to each local authority in the current financial year. 
Mr. Hutton: Information in the form requested is not collected centrally. However, the number of residents supported by local authorities is at Table S3 in the Statistical Bulletin "Community Care Statistics 1999 Residential Personal Social Services for adults, England". Copies of this publication are available in the Library.
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Ms Stuart: The scientific data on aspartame are kept under continual review by scientific experts within the Food Standards Agency and, when necessary, independent expert advice is sought. In fact the safety of aspartame has been extensively reviewed by independent experts both in the United Kingdom and other European Member States and is considered safe to use for the general population. However, it is a legal requirement for all foods containing aspartame to be clearly labelled as containing a source of phenylalanine.
Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to reply to the letter from the right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed of 4 January, concerning the length of time a constituent is waiting for treatment for angina. 
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) on how many occasions since the publication of the Fritchie report on NHS appointments hon. Members have been asked to comment on shortlists for appointments to (a) health authorities, (b) NHS trusts and (c) primary care trusts; 
Ms Stuart: It is neither practicable nor appropriate to check on the sources of income of every organisation that makes representations to the Department. In cases where the Department is contemplating financial support for an organisation, checks of this kind are made. It should be noted that the pharmaceutical industry offers support to organisations or their objectives in various ways other than direct financial contributions, and these must also be taken into account.
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within one year of completing their initial training in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement on the impact of this loss of trained nurses on patient care. 
Mr. Denham: This information is not collected centrally. We recognise the contribution nurses make to patient care and we are therefore committed to encouraging them to stay in the National Health Service once they have qualified. NHS employers are becoming more flexible with the working patterns they are offering, thus allowing nurses to balance their lives at work and home. The number of qualified nurses working in the NHS increased by over 5,500 between September 1998 and September 1999.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list for each health authority in England in rank order its allocation for 2000-01, including the expenditure announced on 28 March, expressed (a) per head of population, and (b) per household. 
|Health authority||2000-01 allocation per weighted head of population|
|Isle of Wight||736|
|Bexley and Greenwich||729|
|Redbridge and Waltham Forest||714|
|Camden and Islington||710|
|Kingston and Richmond||706|
|East Sussex, Brighton and Hove||705|
|Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham||705|
|Brent and Harrow||704|
|Salford and Trafford||701|
|Cornwall and Isles of Scilly||701|
|Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth||700|
|South and West Devon||698|
|North and East Devon||697|
|Newcastle and North Tyneside||696|
|Barking and Havering||694|
|North and Mid Hampshire||693|
|Enfield and Haringey||691|
|North West Lancashire||688|
|Southampton and South West Hampshire||688|
|Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow||688|
|Portsmouth and South East Hampshire||688|
|Bury and Rochdale||687|
|Calderdale and Kirklees||687|
|St. Helens and Knowsley||684|
|Gateshead and South Tyneside||682|
|East and North Hertfordshire||679|
|Wigan and Bolton||667|
|East London and the City||666|
|Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster||637|
2 May 2000 : Column: 60W
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